Serious signs of competition between Amazon and Google were first witnessed when the Popular Products feature within Organic Search was rolled out by Google. It enabled retailers to leverage Google’s Merchant Feed and product schemes to get their products highlighted in Organic Search. All the participating retailers got to appear in this feature for free.
Google announced this year that due to the financial strain caused by COVID-19, they have sped up their timeline and are now offering businesses free of charge inclusion into Google Shopping that was initially available in the US as of May 1st, later followed by other countries.
“Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. With hundreds of millions of shopping searches on Google each day, we know that many retailers have the items people need in stock and ready to ship, but are less discoverable online.
For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings. If you’re an existing user of Merchant Center and Shopping ads, you don’t have to do anything to take advantage of the free listings, and for new users of Merchant Center, we’ll continue working to streamline the onboarding process over the coming weeks and months.”
The Google Shopping results will appear to be quite similar to that of organic results, including Paid results at the top/bottom and Organic results in the middle.
Those new to the Merchant Center should know that creating an account will let them feed product details and information directly to Google. You do not have to wait for it to get picked up from your product schema. Additionally, there are a ton of other useful features.
Google also announced building ties with various other platforms to further simplify processing sales.
“We’re also kicking off a new partnership with PayPal to allow merchants to link their accounts. This will speed up our onboarding process and ensure we’re surfacing the highest quality results for our users. And we’re continuing to work closely with many of our existing partners that help merchants manage their products and inventory, including Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, to make digital commerce more accessible for businesses of all sizes.”
Action Plan – With this permanent change, the opportunity is here to stay. But if you are selling products online, you should definitely make it a point to get started with this as soon as possible. All you need is a Google Merchant Center account and you will have to opt into surfaces across Google in order to show up in the Organic Google Shopping results.
Know that product markup will help Google understand your products well for features like Popular Products. So get it done as well.
For further guidance, use Google’s Help center page or get in touch with us to get your products listed on Google!